Smells like Stairway to Heaven

17 July 2009

Written by: Lawrie Zion

Well, I know it’s only a bare pass, but ten of my guesses about what would make the top 20 did actually make the list.  True, the presence of not one but three Radiohead songs in the upper echelons of the Hottest 100 was a pleasant surprise, and my own number one song, Paranoid Android ended up at number five, three positions higher than I somewhat optimistically surmised. You’ve got to be happy with that.

There’s been a lot of comments about the popularity of older music in the latest list, and yes –  more than a dozen songs from the first chart are still kicking on in 2009. And that doesn’t include Bohemian Rhapsody, which was just edged out of the 1989, when it was number 101. But now, the only pop song ever to use the word “fandango” is number six.

I don’t want to gloat but I was spot on about two of the tracks. Like just about everyone, it seemed a no-brainer to me that Smells Like Teen Spirit would end up in the number one slot, 17 years after it first topped a Triple J Hottest 100.

I also turned up trumps predicting that Stairway to Heaven, which was number 30 in 1989, would be the curtain-raiser on this years top 10. This means it has ebbed up the list at the average rate of one rung a year, putting it on track to complete it’s climb to the very top of the stairs in 2018,  by which time many of its fans will no doubt feel gratified just to be defying the fate of the subject of the song by getting about on their sturdy walking frames.